Ellen Elizabeth Langston passed away peacefully in North Carolina on March 17, 2021. At her bedside were family members, who lovingly supported her through her final months of life.
Ellen was born May 8, 1943, in Kymi, Finland, to Veikko and Laina Kunelius. Ellen’s Finnish name was Tuula Helena Kunelius. In 1947, at the age of 4, she and her twin sister, Tuire Elisa Kunelius, were adopted by Rodney and Dorothea Walker of Los Angeles. They immigrated to America in 1949, where Tuula was re-named Ellen Elizabeth Walker. Ellen and Lisa became naturalized United States citizens in 1959.
The Walker family moved to Ojai, California, in 1956, where Ellen attended Nordhoff High School (Class of 1961). Following high school, she completed the LVN nursing program at Ventura Community College.
Ellen briefly worked as a nurse, but in 1964 began a career in banking as a General Ledger Bookkeeper with First National Bank while living in Tonopah NV. She retired from Banking in 1999 and worked for Champion Chevrolet in Reno until 2014.
On September 15, 1967, Ellen married Charles Rex Langston, with whom she had a son, Charles. After her marriage ended, her life partner was Michael Benton, with whom she lived for 33 years and married in July 2020.
Ellen had a unique way to brighten up a room. She was always welcoming, and with her twin, Lisa made us all smile. She will be forever missed. Ellen was very successful in her career and was well known for her meticulousness when it came to details. She applied these skills to work and to all aspects of her life. She was a planner and stuck to her goals. Ellen was a very generous person to her family and friends. She was known as the ‘serious’ twin while Lisa was known as the ‘comical’ twin. They balanced each other and even though they lived in different states, they were constantly connected to each other.
Ellen was predeceased by her twin sister, Lisa, and her parents, Rodney and Dorothea Walker. She is survived by her husband, Mike Benton, her son, Charles Langston (Stacy), her brothers, Bruce Walker (Delores), Mark Walker (Peta), Craig Walker (Debi), and several nieces and nephews, Bonnie Brandt (Tim), Becky Vrba (Zak), Rhett Walker, Dylan Walker (Elizabeth), and Brooke Steinfort (Shaun). Ellen’s grandchildren are Stevie Campbell (Chris), Jennifer Stanton, Aerielle Langston, Sierra Langston, Shannah Bowers, Soomin Lee and Great-grandchildren Kennedy and Raidyn Campbell and Hayden Pharias.
Ellen reconnected with her Finnish family in 2016. Of her Finnish family, Ellen was predeceased by biological parents, Veikko and Laina Kunelius, a sister, Anja-Riitta Strahlendorff (Norbert), and a half-sister, Eila Lehto (Tauno). She is survived by her Finnish brother, Kari Krannila, and two nieces, Tuula Riutta (Antti), and Nina Strahlendorff (Timo Aikonen). Special mention is given to Mrs. Ida Lonka, who cared for Lisa and Ellen in Finland from 1948 to 1949.
Arrangements are with Mountain View Cemetery in Reno, Nevada